Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan put up a superb all-round performance to ease past Sri Lanka by 29 runs in the first Twenty20 International in Colombo.
Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi would have been content with his decision to bat first as opener Ahmed Shehzad, all-rounder Shoaib Malik and batsman Umar Akmal all made 46 runs. As a result, Pakistan finished on 175/5 off their 20 overs.
Thisara Perera was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets, while Sri Lanka skipper Lasith Malinga, Binura Fernando and Angelo Mathews chipped in with one wicket apiece.
Chasing 176 to win, four Sri Lankan batsmen – Milinda Siriwardana, Chamara Kapugedara, Dhananjaya de Silva and Mathews – got off to promising starts before throwing their wickets away.
With the rest of the batting line-up failing to fire, Sri Lanka ended up finishing well short of their target.
Sohail Tanvir was the most successful bowler with three wickets, while Anwar Ali snapped up two and Malik and Imad Wasim claimed one wicket each.
Malinga was disappointed with his side’s performance, and said: “Really happy for the newcomers. Especially Milinda, Kapu. We didn’t get off to good start, three overs, three wickets down. Bowling was not too good. I have to bowl much better in these games.”
Afridi was pleased to have taken a 1-0 lead in the series, and said: “Credit goes to the boys. A great team effort. Shehzad’s outstanding knock. Shoaib Malik took responsibility as a senior player. Umar Akmal was great. Team management is doing a great job, and the boys are showing it works. They know how important fielding is in today’s game. I want to see a strong bench, and it’s good to see everyone is capable of winning a game for Pakistan.”
Tanvir was named Man of the Match, and said: “Everything worked well for me. It swung for me in the first spell. Then slower balls, yorkers. I have been bowling well in the CPL. Got the wickets when we needed it. Thanks to Shahid Afridi the way he supported me. Also thanks to Waqar and Mushy. I think I proved my selection right. We played well in all three departments, you couldn’t have asked for more.”